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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Email #65 (Gilbert, AZ)

November 17, 2014
Hola familia!
Hey there! How's it going?? Sounds like it's been super cold!! This morning we played ultimate frisbee and it was 50 degrees and all of us were on the verge of tears we were so cold!! I think I've acclimated to Arizona weather.... February is going to be rough for me haha:) This email is going to be a short one, because we're headed down to Queen Creek to do some goodbyes for Chavs and Lana, since they're leaving me next Tuesday. Sad day:( so we have to email fast so we can get shopping done and have enough time to see all the people they want to say bye to.
But this week was good! We taught quite a bit and saw some good progress with a few investigators. Darren is so awesome and he is very interested in learning more! We met two of his roommates too this week who want to hear the lessons and go to church as well! That was un milagro because we've been struggling to find new investigators this past transfer. We're confronting the same slight setbacks with him as we did with Tony in the beginning because of the slight language barrier. But it is such a good experience to teach someone with little or no religious background and have a language barrier, because the goal is to teach simply in a way they will understand, and more importantly in a way the Spirit can touch their hearts. Darren is so humble and willing to learn, and he has a sincere desire to know if God is real.
Vanessa has been more consistent than ever! She couldn't come to church yesterday because it was the Phoenix Temple Dedication (SO COOL!!!), but she has been making a great effort to read and pray everyday, and met with us a lot this week. Ever since that priesthood blessing she received from Hno. Maynez, she has been doing so good. She is a witness to me that priesthood power is real, that it has been restored to the earth to bless God's children and bring us back to Him. We are so blessed to have worthy priesthood holders that can do miracles by the power to act in God's name. Priesthood holders, do not take for granted your responsibility to serve and bless others around you! Do everything you can to remain worthy so you can have the opportunity to act as God's instruments to bless his children.
I can't think of any other significant things that happened this week with our investigators...besides Edna. She came to the choir concert we had last night and we got to talk to her afterwards and she opened up to us. She is really struggling again. She feels a lot of sadness and pain from her dad's death. We listened to her and just testified to her of the Plan of Salvation. She is awesome and if she just starts doing the simple things again, she will find peace and happiness:)
I'll give you more updates next week.
Oh! Please pray for the Flores family. They are recent converts, and we are teaching their 10 year old daughter, Valeria. Satan is working really hard to pull them down right now. They are awesome but are having a lot of different, crazy trials. Just pray that they will have the strength to continue doing the things they need to do in order to be sealed in the temple next year.
I LOVE YOU ALL SO SO SO much! Have an amazing week!
Hermana Lattin

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Email #64 (Gilbert, AZ)

November 10, 2014

Hey there, querida familia!
Man, time is just flying by so fast out here. I can't even believe that my other two comps go home in two weeks. WHY??? This is cruel and unusual punishment. I keep on having to say goodbye to my best friends and it's really tough. But, life goes on and so does the Work!
This week was pretty good! We spent a lot of it trying to finish up teaching Tony all of the lessons so he could be ready for his baptism on Saturday. He is AWESOME and his baptism was so tender. I don't know if I've ever met such a pure hearted 13 year old, a teenager who is so genuinely dedicated to getting closer to God and serving and helping his family. He is such a sweet kid. And the people who spoke at his baptism all mentioned him serving a mission, and that makes me so excited because he is going to be an amazing missionary someday! It was a great night.
Also, both Darren and Jamie came to church yesterday with Tony Li! We also had a lesson with them last night, but Jamie couldn't make it. Darren is AWESOME! Even with his limited English, you can feel how sincere his desire is to know if God is real, and that he trusts us to help him know. We were able to teach them more about Jesus Christ last night and we found the "Because of Him" video in Chinese! Milagro!:) The Spirit was very strong as we told them more about our purpose on earth and that Jesus Christ makes it possible for us to return back to our Heavenly Father. We hope the lesson helped them feel the Spirit, even if they didn't understand everything we taught.
I am so blessed to be on a mission. I think about it, and never in a million years would I have met all the people I've met on my mission had I not gone. I wouldn't have met my companions, the members, or our investigators. And what makes it so special is that these are people who have changed my life, and impacted me in a way that has brought me closer to the Savior. God knows me perfectly, and he has placed people in my life that he knew I would need so I could become the person He wants me to be. That is one of the most amazing things about being out here, and something that I didn't necessarily anticipate before coming out on a mission. Before, I was set on changing peoples' lives and helping others to come unto Christ, and didn't give much thought to how much these people would change me. Little did I know that I was the one who needed them so I could learn, change and grow closer to my Father and my Savior. It's the people I have met that have helped me to understand how much God loves me, and how much He loves all of us.
Hna Carvalho--I guess she is just Cindy now, came to Gilbert to visit with her parents this past weekend! It was fun because they showed up at Tony's baptism and I got to see my compi again!!! It was so strange seeing her not as a missionary, because it was the same old Hna Carvalho, but at the same time she was different. But it was so good to see her. When you say goodbye to someone you've been with 24/7 all day every day for 5 months and then all of the sudden you don't see them at all and you can't communicate with them in any way, it almost makes it feel like that person isn't real anymore. You know they are there, but it's like they're just part of this dream world that exists outside of the mission haha. So it was awesome to give her a big hug again and talk to her. And her parents came all the way from Brazil to pick her up and are amazing! Her mom was one of the sweetest people I've ever met, so nice and cute, and even though we couldn't communicate super well, I could still feel her love and appreciation for me. Her dad is super funny and has this big goofy grin on his face all the time. His English was really good! You can tell they are both just SO proud of Cindy and they love her so much. I feel really blessed that I got to meet them, even though our time was short, I love them a lot, and I am glad I was able to tell them in person how much they're daughter impacted my life and changed me and that I was so grateful I was able to be her companion. It is awesome that they were able to come and meet all of the people that love their daughter so much and see how many lives she impacted and changed. It was hard to say goodbye again, but I know I'll see her again! I did promise her parents that I would learn Portuguese and come to Brazil somedayJ
I don't have a whole lot of updates on other investigators this week. We will be meeting with all of them soon though so I'll let you know next week:)
Que tengan una semana MARAVILLOSA!! Keep on being the best, fam:) Seriously, thank you for your prayers and love.
Hermana Lattin

Email #63 (Gilbert, AZ)

November 3, 2014

Holllla familia!
How's it going?  It also looks like you had a fun Halloween! Niiiice costumes:)
So this week was pretty good! We saw a lot of miracles, and somehow we were able to stay sane with all of the people and places to go:) I don't have a huge amount of time left on the computer, but I'll tell you a few of the week's highlights!
We found Vanessa again! This was truly a miracle, and the experience in and of itself testified to me that when we are being obedient and doing what we're supposed to, God will guide us to where we need to be. We knocked on her door and she was feeling super sick and Francisco was going to take her to the hospital. We asked her if she wanted a blessing and she said yes so we called Hermano Maynez and he came over with his son to give her a blessing. While we were waiting for them to come, she told us how she had relapsed a few weeks ago with her drugs, and that is part of what caused all her health problems recently. Her doctor wants her to do a 30 day rehab program but she is really scared. We shared Matthew 11:28-30 with her and reminded her that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ our burdens can be lifted and we can find peace and joy through Him, but we have to reach out to Him. He is always there waiting to take us into his embrace, but it takes our personal efforts to hug him back, and allow the Atonement to heal and change us. We promised her these blessings would come as long as she made the efforts to be clean of drugs and accept the Gospel in her life. We supported her in doing the 30 day program and encouraged her to bring her Book of Mormon. She told us that she knows that this Church is true and it's where God wants her, she just has to be clean first. Then Hno Maynez got there and gave her one of the most powerful blessings I've ever heard. It was SO cool. Never in my life have I actually witnessed a healing right then and there. But before she looked so sick, her skin was sunken in and was a yellowish tint, and she was wrapped up in a blanket on the couch, and she was hardly saying anything. But by the end of the blessing, she looked like her normal self and got up and walked us to the door. Man, the Spirit was so strong and Hno Maynez is the best. Definitely un milagro.
Also, we had dinner with Tony Li last night and we met two of his friends (who are also from China), Darren and Jamie. We watched that Mormon Message "The Hope of God's light" and talked with them about God. They both also don't have a solid background, but were interested in finding out if He is real. Especially Darren. There was a light in his eyes as we testified that God is our Heavenly Father, that we are His children and He loves us. He felt something and was really excited to learn more:) we have a lesson with them set up next Saturday so we'll let you know how that goes!

Here are the answers to your questions mamita!
1. Yes! We do have a baptism this week! 
Have I told you about the Hispanic Tony?? His mom is the sister of one of the ladies in the Gilbert branch, and she just got baptized a few weeks ago (that was the baptism Pres. Nattress Spoke at), and he is getting baptized this coming Saturday, the 8th!:D So stoked. He is awesome. He is 13 and he is one of the most mature kids I've ever met. He is having his interview tonight so if that goes well he will definitely be baptized this Saturday!!! WHOOO!!! :)
2. Investigator update:
Tim is good. We taught him a few times and he is progressing at his own little pace. We had some super Spirit-filled lessons with him so hopefully he recognizes that and can take that step to be baptized. Pray for him extra hard this week that he can receive and recognize his answer and have the desire to be baptized! We haven't seen Edna for a bit, but hopefully we will be able to see her this week! I'll let you know how she's progressing next Monday. Georgina is her usual cute, little old self:) Pray that she will have the desire to come to church and that her daughter's heart will be softened so she can be baptized:)
3. We actually went to the temple as a mission on Halloween! It was the BEST Halloween ever!!!:)

Okay, well my time is running short, but I love you all sooooooo so much!!! Thank you again for your prayers and support. I am beyond blessed to have the most amazing family in the world.
Moroni 8:3:)
Hermana Lattin

Email #62 (Gilbert, AZ)

October 27, 2014

Holaaaaa familia!
Sounds like you had a fun weekend with the church Halloween party. All the kids looked so cute! AH! I love you all so much you have no idea.

We had a good week this week, even though it was a bit crazy. Hna Carvalho spent most of the mornings and afternoons studying in the office and doing her BYU application. I was out with Hna Chavarri and Hna Lana, but I did help her out with her application sometimes. She took the ACT on Saturday.
Missions are the best, and one of the best parts about it is the people you meet. The people you serve with become your greatest friends, and you learn so much from them. There is something about being with someone all day every day that can make life really hard or really great:) in this case, it made life really great! I feel so blessed to have been companions with Hna Carvalho the past 3 transfers, and I've become a better person because of her Christ-like example to me of spiritual strength, determination, humility, virtue, obedience, faith and love. She is an amazing missionary, and an all-around amazing person. She taught me so much about the Atonement, that Jesus Christ is real and that through Him, everything and anything can be overcome, we just need to trust Him.
The thing about a mission, and about companions, is that you are learning and progressing spiritually in ways you never have before, and that spiritual learning and progression happens right alongside your companion. I am so grateful for Hna Carvalho and the impact she has had in my life. I don't think she'll ever know or understand how much she's changed me for the better. She's the best. She leaves tomorrow morning and I bet her parents are beyond excited to see her! That will be such a happy reunion! She'll be traveling around the US with her parents for a bit, and she's coming back here on the 8th of November, so I'll get to see her one last time before she goes back to Brazil! And then hopefully she'll come back to party with me at BYU!!!:)
Sorry I spent the whole time on that... haha but that's what's on my mind right now so it just came out while I was typing.
In all the busy happenings of the week, we made it to the Phoenix Temple Open House twice this weekend! It is soooooo beautiful! And Tim, Edna and Tony all loved it:) We're hoping their hearts were softened. I'll send pics home of it!
OKay, well I love you all so so so so so so so so much!!!! Have a great week and keep on being the best. LOVE YOU.
Con mucho MUCHO amor, Hermana Lattin

Hna Chavarri, Hna Woolstenhume, Hna Carvalho, Hna Lattin

Phoenix Temple Open House with investigators!